Spotlight & Excerpt: Marked + Giveaway

Marked
Dark Kindred Spirits, #1
Athena Floras
Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Out November 21st, 2020
ASIN: B08MBNHBR7
Number of pages: 108
Word Count: 19 679
Cover Artist: Nicholas Mallet

When all hope is lost, love will find a way.

When there is darkness, seek the light…

Sebastian Falls has known his fair share of pain and sorrow in his life. His world is one filled with evil and danger. He’s learned to keep his emotions to himself and not let anyone get close. It’s the only way to not get hurt. But when he meets Ariel Olivier, the shy, awkward girl in his class, he wonders if he should continue to stay in the darkness. There’s something about Ariel that makes him want to let her in.

Ariel Olivier never knew when she got a tattoo on her eighteenth birthday that her whole world would change for the worse. From that moment on, her normal, mundane life turned into something sinister. An evil grows within her and it threatens to consume her and all those she cares for.

There is only one person who can help her vanquish what wants to destroy her, the alluring, mysterious Sebastian Falls. She can’t help but be drawn to him. He comes from the same evil world that is trying to kill her. Can she trust him and her growing feelings or let whatever dark power that is controlling her take over completely?

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Excerpt:

Ariel Olivier’s
wandering mind never rested. It kept her occupied at the most inopportune
times, like right now in her Humanities’ class. Mr. Brentwood’s monotone voice
as he read a passage in the reference book on religion and its influence on
politics was the driving force propelling her thoughts away from the subject
matter.

This was her
least favorite class. She probably wouldn’t have chosen it if another
Humanities subject was available in the same timeslot. But there hadn’t been,
so she was stuck with this boring class and Mr. Brentwood’s unemotional and
slow-paced teaching methods for the rest of the semester.

The squirrel
doing a balancing act on the powerline outside her window had her undivided
attention at the moment. It seemed to stare at her, urging her to open the
window to let it in. It was cold outside. The puissant wind blew the fur on its
puffy tail, making it shiver.

If she could do
it undetected, she would have let it in. She hated to see it suffer.

When the
squirrel saw she wasn’t budging, it scurried farther down the powerline,
searching for another opportunity to come into the building.

She sighed,
glancing down at her watch. There was only a few more minutes of class left and
then her school day would be over.

She couldn’t
wait until she was out of the school. Throughout the entire day, she worried
someone would realize it was her birthday and wish her best wishes.

She hated
drawing attention to herself. She was shy and reserved. She felt the most at
ease when she could sit in class or in the library and not be seen or heard.
Being invisible was what she thrived for, because it meant freedom without
prejudice. No one could criticize her bad posture when she sat or how her hair
curled untamed. Or how she wore only monotone colored clothes and hated
patterns of any kind.

She could be
herself and not be judged for any quirks, odd habits, or preferences she might
have.

Mr. Brentwood
flipped the massive textbook closed. The echoing noise it produced sliced into
the silence drawing her out of her reverie. She blinked focusing on his words.

“That’s the end
of today’s lesson. I’d like you all to read the next chapter in the book and
we’ll discuss it on Tuesday.”

All of a sudden,
he honed his gaze onto her and he smiled. “I almost forgot one very important
thing to mention before you go.”

She shifted her
eyes and fidgeted in her chair. Somehow, she knew what he’d say next. She
should have expected it. He always did it for all of his students.

“It’s Ariel’s
birthday today. She turned eighteen. Please wish her along with me a happy
birthday.”

All eyes turned
to look in the direction Mr. Brentwood focused. Only a couple of the students
knew immediately she was Ariel. The rest seemed to have noticed her for the
first time, as if they never knew she existed before now.

She felt her
cheeks burning. She wanted to crawl under her desk and hide.

* * * *

Sebastian Falls
witnessed the chaos from afar. He cringed noting the scene was stressing Ariel
out.

He didn’t know
her personally. They’d been in the same Humanities class for the past month and
had never spoken to one another. But from the frequent times he’d observed her
from the back of the classroom, he could tell she was a lot like he was, an
introvert who didn’t like talking in class.

Too bad Mr.
Brentwood hadn’t figured that out yet. The worst thing he could have done, he
did. Drawing everyone’s attention to the fact it was Ariel’s birthday was
freaking her out.

Her cheeks
turned beet red and she couldn’t keep eye contact with the students as they
swarmed in and offered her happy birthday wishes.

He even caught
her eyeing the door. She obviously was contemplating running the hell out of
there. If he were in her shoes, he probably would have been thinking the same
thing, except his reason was different from hers. She was shy and awkward. He
just hated crowds and wanted to be left alone.

Grabbing his
books, he made his way out, avoiding the traffic jam around her desk. It was
getting too busy and too noisy for his liking. Peace and quiet were what he
thrived for. He couldn’t get it at home, but he made damn sure to get it at
school.

He walked into
the hallway and leaned on a random locker waiting for the perfect time to act.
He had no idea how long he’d have to wait—a minute, ten minutes, or even half
an hour. But he didn’t mind. It would all be worth it in the end if everything
fell into place like he planned.
 

About the Author:

Athena Floras is a wife and proud mother of three who loves to read and write suspenseful and romantic stories. When she isn’t busy being a mom, she spends her spare time in her den, totally immersing herself into the whimsical, fantastical world of fiction. She hopes the stories and characters she creates will bring readers as much pleasure and entertainment as they have her.

Website/Blog

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

 

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